Ice cream firm's warm cwtch for city culture bid
AT the heart of Swansea's bid to be the next city of culture is a feeling of civic pride.
Cycling along the front to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour in Mumbles, it's hard not to indulge in feelings of love at the beauty for my home town, drenched in autumn sunshine.
Upon arriving at Joe's it is easy to detect how much effort has gone into helping Swansea's bid for City of Culture.
I am met by Helen Brown, a company director of Joe's and creator of the new ice cream.
She gives me a warm welcome, typical of the hospitality Swansea has come to expect from this local institution.
Mrs Brown is clearly very passionate about her work and excited to tell me about what Joe's is trying to achieve.
She explains that this is the company's way of saying thank you to Swansea — "a chance to show our support for our city".
For those who grow up in Swansea, Joe's is something of a rite of passage to becoming a true native of the city.
Knowing this, Mrs Brown said she was inspired by the familial nature of Swansea which she feels is so important to understanding the city's appeal.
Natasha Fulford, of the Cwtch The Bid campaign for the city, said she shard those sentiments.
She explained the campaign was trying to capture the holistic nature of Swansea's culture.
"For such a small area, Swansea has achieved tremendous success throughout it's history," she said.
"We all know about the big names and the 'celeb culture', but it's about more than that."
Both Mrs Brown and Mrs Fulford said they were clear that their goal was to celebrate Swansea's civic character, acknowledging that culture is about more than high arts, but people, heritage and history.
The campaign addresses what is at the heart of Swansea's character and the ice cream itself is tremendous.
Expertly presented in Joe's characteristic ice cream flutes, the brownies are nestled in between scoops of Joe's famous traditional vanilla and amazing Welsh cake ice cream. Coating all of this is a rich chocolate brown sauce, dotted with hearts that mimic the campaign's logo.
The title of the campaign is Cwtch the Bid, and no image could be more appropriate for this dish. Even on a chilly autumn morning the flavours are comforting, while the textures of the smooth ice cream, contrasting with the soft crumble of the Gower Cottage Brownie has to be tried to be properly appreciated.
In trying to capture a sense of Swansea's culture through its food, Mrs Brown has achieved remarkable success.
A creation full of heart and passion, Joe's Ice Cream has created a symbol of Swansea's lasting, undefinable appeal, a warming cwtch from a special city.